AS Team USA assistant coach Erik Spoelstra was flashed on the big screen at the Mall of Asia Arena late in the fourth quarter on Monday night, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson wasted no time to show he can still play in the NBA.
With Spoelstra, the concurrent Miami Heat coach, and fellow NBA coaches in attendance shortly after arriving ahead of the Americans’ 2023 Fiba World Cup game against Greece, Hollis-Jefferson led a comeback that allowed Jordan to force overtime against New Zealand.
Jordan eventually lost, 95-87, in the day’s first game, but Hollis-Jefferson proved to be silver lining.
READ: New Zealand overcomes Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s 39 points
The former NBA forward dropped a tournament-high 39 points on 12-of-24 shooting from the field and 14-of-18 from the foul line, on top of nine boards, four assists, and two steals with only six minutes of rest.
The 28-year-old wingman highlighted his play with an impressive four-point play with nine seconds left in regulation and forced the extra session.
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Asked if he hoped his performance turned NBA scouts’ heads, Hollis-Jefferson nodded.
“I hope so. At the end of the day, it’s up to them. All I need is one to believe in me. That’s it,” said the 2015 NBA Draft 23rd overall pick, who last played in 2021 with the Portland Trail Blazers.
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“Definitely, that’s the goal: to get back closer to home, to be able to compete at the highest level,” he added. If they call, I’m definitely ready.”
Hollis-Jefferson, though, has already committed to return to his PBA club in the TNT Tropang Giga in the Commissioner’s Cup in October.
For now, Jordan is the naturalized player’s home.
For how long?
“As long as they accept me,” he said with a smile.